Solid foundations laid at U18 and Women’s camps
The SA Rugby U18 High Performance and National Women’s Assessment camps this week delivered on their objectives of setting a solid foundation with an eye on the forthcoming season.
The U18 High Performance camp was hosted in Stellenbosch from Sunday to Wednesday. The focus was on tracking the players’ progress from the U16 and U17 camps late last year and putting structures in place for U18 International Series in August.
The U18 Coca-Cola Youth Week coaches and strength and conditioning staff were also invited to the camp to expose them to SA Rugby’s structures and game plan to ensure continuity as the Youth Weeks festival and international season approaches.
The National Women’s camp, meanwhile, which ran from Wednesday to Friday in Cape Town, served the purpose of testing the players’ fitness and conditioning levels and giving them feedback on the areas they needed to work on, while also informing them of the expectations off the field.
The testing included a battery of exercises, including bench presses, leg presses, pull-ups and sprints.
“Both camps went very well and we certainly achieved what we set out to do,” said SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus.
“We now have a solid base to work from within both squads as we gear up toward to the U18 International Series and the women’s international season.
“It was particularly pleasing to have the Coca-Cola Youth Week coaches and conditioning staff at the U18 High Performance camp as it enabled us to share our systems with them so that we could move closer to aligning our structures, and I believe this will be beneficial going forward.
“In general, we are pleased with the foundation laid at the camp and we are excited about this group of players. We are blessed to have great talent in the country.”
Of the national women’s camp, Erasmus said: “The test results showed that they are on the right track, while it was also pleasing to see some of the former Under-20 players put up their hands.
“One of the main goals ahead of the camp was to see how some of the younger players fared alongside their senior counterparts and how they fitted into the structures, and we are excited about the prospects they offer.
“In terms of the players’ fitness levels, the conditioning programmes are paying off, which was clear in some of the test results, although they have to continue putting in the hard yards. That said they now know what areas they have to improve on in terms of their training before the next camp.”